"I say, I'm pleased to see you," said the little man standing by the letter-box.
"Oh, hallo," I said, stopping. "Simpson, isn't it?"
The Simpsons were newcomers to the town.
"Yes, that's right," answered Simpson.
"I wonder if you could lend me some money." I put my hand into my pocket. There were no money at all. "You see," he continued, "my wife gave me a letter to post, and I've just noticed it isn't stamped. It must go tonight - it really must. And I don't think the post-office will be open at this time of night, do you?"
It was about eleven o'clock and I agreed that it wouldn't.
"Yes, well," I said, intending to move off. But he looked so unhappy that I really couldn't leave him alone.
"I'll tell you what," I said, "You better walk alone with me to my place and I'll try to find some change for you there."
"It's really very good of you," said Simpson.
At home we managed to find the money he needed. He thanked me and left. I watched him take several steps up the street and then return to me.
"I say, I'm sorry to trouble you again," he said. "The fact is we are still quite strangers here and - well, I'm rather lost, to tell you the truth. Will you tell me the way to the post-office?"
I did my best. But he couldn't understand anything and I had to lead the way to the post-office. Simpson put a penny into the automatic stamp-machine. The coin passed through the machine but with no result.
"It's empty," I explained.
Simpson was so nervous that he dropped the letter on the ground and when he picked it up there was a large black spot on its face.
"Dear me," he said. "My wife told me to post the letter tonight. After all it's not so important but you don't know my wife. I had better post it now."
Suddenly I remember that I had a book of stamps at home. "It will be posted," I said. "But we'd better hurry, or we'll miss the midnight collection."
It took rather a long time to find the book of stamps. But when we found it we saw after all that it was empty. The last thing I could advise him to do was to post the letter unstamped.
"Let the other man pay double postage on it in the morning."
I accompanied him to the post-office in time for the midnight collection. He dropped in his letter, and then, to finish off my job, I took him home.
"I'm so grateful to you, really," he said when we reached his home. "That letter - it's only an invitation to dinner, to Mr. ... Dear me!"
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing. Just something I've remembered."
But he didn't tell me. He just opened his eyes and his mouth at me like a wounded goldfish, hurriedly said "Good night," and went inside.
All the way home I was wondering what it was he had remembered.
But I stopped wondering the next morning when I had to pay the postman double postage for a blue envelope with a large black spot on its face.
1. Whom did the author meet near the post-office?
2. What did the author know about the Simpsons?
3. Did Mr. Simpson want to lend much money?
4. Why did Mr. Simpson want to lend some money from the author?
5. Did the author have any money with him?
6. Where did the author invite Mr. Simpson?
7. Why did the author have to lead Mr. Simpson to the post-office?
8. Could Mr. Simpson get a stamp from the automatic stamp-machine?
9. Was Mr. Simpson quiet?
10. What happened to the envelope?
11. Were there any stamps in the author' s book of stamps?
12. What did the author advise Mr. Simpson to do?
13. Did Mr. Simpson tell the author what letter that was?
14. What did Mr. Simpson remember at the end?
15. Could the author understand everything the next morning?